Manners: When Winners Lose

One of the reasons I do not particularly like competitive sports is “winners.” A turn of a foot, a play that is only successful one in eight times can win or lose a game. Yes, there is skill. And there is “will” to be the best. These help – but usually (not always, but all-to-often) when you come to things like “championships” they are (or should be!) close on skill and will. The best games are the ones where everyone is guessing who will win. They are fun to watch. They are tense to play. The players who walk away from those games are disappointed. Man do I get that… that is an awful feeling. And the winners are elated. Who wouldn’t be? Especially for those massive games where it was close and no one knows who will walk out victorious. You see, there are the winners who rub it in. They wear their badges of honor and wins and tell everyone how amazing they are. Their

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Manners: Kindergarten

You know that phrase “everything you need to know about life can be learned….” I’m a big fan of the answer “kindergarten” Are you lonely and in need of a smile? Try sitting in a field of flowers and imagine the singing flowers from Alice in Wonderland (old Disney, not new Disney). Or coloring. Or asking for a hug. If you see someone crying, go and sit beside them, hold their hand. You don’t have to say anything – just be there. Are you nervous at a conference? Find your buddy!  Best plan – have a buddy before you show up and make sure you find your buddy! Your buddy will help you be safe. Did you learn in Kindergarten NOT to cut in line? Next time you’re driving and you see a line of cars… Are you in a public restroom?  Guess what – just like you were taught at school, you need to check and MAKE SURE you

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Manners: NotAllMen

I can’t believe this is still a thing. I can’t believe there are still so damn many men who can’t get why #NotAllMen IS a problem. Here’s the thing, women know not every man is dangerous. Women know that not every man is a rapist (intentionally or not is different post). Women know that there are some men who are our supporters, friends, advocates, and sometimes – yes we sometimes want this – our defenders.  I know I’ve explained what I call the Goethe spectrum when we meet strangers; but I think it’s really even easier to understand. So a man sees a woman walking down the street and smiles at her and says hello. The woman must make an instantaneous decision whether she is safe or not (Seriously, go read the Goethe link if you haven’t yet).  She might get it wrong. She might just be feeling anxious and this poor guy pings higher on the scale than he should.

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Manners: Is “if” a bad word?

This occurred to me only recently, but it is too true: If you have to use “if” to qualify something, it’s probably bad. IF gets used to cover up an insult or negative feedback instead of just having the spine to stand up to your own comment. Look at these examples: If this had more salt, it would be delicious! (wait, so it’s not good?) If you got contacts, we could see your pretty face. (wait, so glasses somehow “hide” facial features?) If that shirt was just cut a little differently… (so it looks bad. I get it) If we go to that restaurant, we might miss the movie (so the movie is your priority.) If you want the blue one, get the blue one (why won’t you just tell me which one you recommend? I asked you!) Even when it is referencing something good “If we buy this house, we can start our family” or “If we go on vacation,

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Review: Rating System(s)

Netflix relatively recently changed from a 5-star rating skill to “thumbs up” and “thumbs down.”  I hate it. And yes, I do mean “active dislike and will try to get this changed somehow” level of negative emotion. I can’t stand polar rating systems. I know, this is a level of nerd – hating something so inane as a rating system, but let me break it down a little bit. This is how I rate using 5-stars: I hated this (probably didn’t even finish it). Never show me anything like this again. I dragged myself through it, but I will never willingly watch it again. It was Ok. It probably kept me entertained enough in my current mood – I might watch something like this again, but THIS was probably a one-time-watch. I enjoyed this. I think other friends of mine with similar taste would also like this. OMG. Everyone should watch this movie. And watch it again. I don’t know if

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Manners: Blessings

Today is Easter. A notable Christian holiday.  The important Christian holiday. I will hear a lot of “Hallelujah” and “blessings” today – both digitally on Facebook and from live people. I don’t talk a lot about my faith. It is highly personal to me. I also have studied history – and I love church history. But it also breaks my heart. The Church (when I capitalize like this, I mean the “organized, hierarchical groups” – NOT the church which is the “body of Christ”) has done a lot of harm over the centuries. That harm is still being committed today.  People don’t like to think they are doing wrong, but that is exactly what we are supposed to do. I am fortunate that I am able to attend a Seder every year. The Haggadah is the story of the Exodus and a reminder to the Hebrew heritage (and Jewish faith) that they suffered in Egypt. This reminder is also a call (at

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Manners: A specific bumper sticker

After posting about bumper stickers here, I had a few conversations about bumper stickers – and realized something I hadn’t thought about before. I hate the “Baby on Board” stickers/posters/things on cars. Not because they are unreasonable, but because they are considered “necessary” for new parents to protect their child. Let that sink in for a moment. Most people put those on their car to communicate to the world. Not bragging like the “my child is an honor student” – but to protect their child. There is a necessity to communicate that there is human life in a car. Because drivers around them might not realize that the car in front of them on the road contains human lives. And even worse, they are making the emotional appeal to that terrible driver, because well we can’t expect drivers to respect adult lives – but maybe they will not try to kill a child. Not to say children’s lives are more important, merely that

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Manners: Personal v. Positional Authority

This is actually based on a conversation I had with a colleague, but it is something that flits through my life very regularly.  Some of this is because I have never been the person to naturally accrue either one.  There are people who do (I have known some of them for years and watched, it’s like a damn magnet of influence flows at them). I build it brick by brick, deliberate actions and choices to create the loyalty which seems to easy for others. Ok, to sound less creepy about it, think of that person who you know that you don’t know why people like them. I mean that person who everyone likes and admires despite being coarse or aggressive or blunt – or a combination of all three. They just have charisma (so jealous). They build up authority based purely on their personality. People follow them without knowing why or caring. Then you have people who rise to positions of power

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Manners: Snowflakes

Yes, you are a special snowflake. That was not sarcastic. I meant it.  I have yet to meet two people who are actually identical in every way. Which means, like snowflakes, they are each completely mathematically unique and amazing. Welcome to the blizzard. I live in Georgia. We count snow in flakes. Maybe inches. I can’t even process feet of snow in my world. But that is where we are. We are in a Midwestern six-feet-piling-up blizzard. There are 7.something BILLION people – and each one is unique. But there comes a point (for Georgia it’s more than 6 flakes sticking to the road) where you can’t care that they are unique and amazing, they are something you need to deal with. They might pose a danger of frostbite and the looming threat of illness. How to Approach the Snowflake/Blizzard: There are two sides to the manners here, what you can expect of yourself and what you can expect of others.

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Miss Manner: The Speed of Life

In the modern world, we run at a warp speed. There is no walking aloud.  As Audrey42 said, there is a crisis in leadership. I got my first Writer’s Digest magazine (subscription vs randomly-found-and-bought) and they talked about how editors don’t just edit. They make templates, create materials for sales & marketing and about eight other tasks. Ok, but how many books is each editor working on.  Every blog post I’ve read, every editorial has said editors have stacks of manuscripts to read/review; they are working on anywhere from 4-10 accepted/contracted manuscripts…  Multiply ALL of those tasks by 4 (lowest number I’ve ever heard). The more I process it, the more I think we’ve lost our collective minds. This is a perfect example of a problem. How can anyone think this is reasonable? My sister and I talked about the fetish (and yes that is the word we decided best fits) with startup-mentality. The idea of one person trying to do

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